The Nativity School in Worcester, Massachusetts has been banned from identifying as a Catholic school as well as holding Mass after refusing to take down their Pride and Black Lives Matter flags, according to Axios. Bishop Robert McManus issued the decision, saying it was his “sacred duty” to make sure a Catholic school is not acting contrary to Catholic teachings.
Per Axios’ report, students called for the school to support their communities and identities back in January 2021. The push for inclusivity wasn’t exclusive to just this school. Many schools and churches alike reacted to the 2020 “racial reckoning” by showing their support for both Black and LGBTQ+ communities.
“These flags simply state that all are welcome at Nativity and this value of inclusion is rooted in Catholic teaching,” said Nativity School president Thomas McKenney in a statement.
However, McManus requested in March 2022 that the school remove the flags.
More from Axios:
Bishop Robert McManus issued the decree on Thursday, saying the decision to fly the flags at the Nativity School in Worcester, Massachusetts, was “inconsistent with Catholic teaching.”
McManus said the Pride flag is inconsistent with Catholic teaching because it “represents support of gay marriage and actively living a LGBTQ+ lifestyle,” while the BLM movement “contradicts Catholic social teaching on the importance and role of the nuclear family.”
The school also cannot sponsor any Mass or sacraments at churches with the Diocese of Worcester and is prevented from holding any fundraiser connected with other institutions within the diocese, McManus’ decree said.
McManus also said in his decree that “Black Lives Matter” is contradicting to the Catholic Church because they teach that “all lives are sacred” (saw that coming). He also claimed the movement seeks to disrupt the family structure. What does standing up against police brutality and systemic racism have to do with the nuclear family? People really be saying anything these days.
McKenney noted in his response that Pope Francis was very outspoken in his support for same-sex marriage and denouncing “the sin of racism” following George Floyd’s murder. McKenney said he will appeal the Bishop’s decision but continue displaying the flags “to give visible witness to the school’s solidarity with our students, families, and their communities,” per Axios.
“Commitment to our mission, grounded and animated by Gospel values, Catholic Social Teaching, and our Jesuit heritage compels us to do so,” he wrote.